Phuture – "Acid Tracks" (1987)
Phuture was a trio comprised of Earl "Spanky" Smith, Herbert "Herb J" Jackson, and most famously, Nathaniel Pierre Jones, better known as DJ Pierre. "Acid Tracks" was Phuture's most famous creation, and one of the most legendary tracks to emerge from Chicago's house scene. "Acid Tracks" was a radical departure from the more soulful house sound championed by producers like Larry Heard. The bizarre, skeletal 11-minute epic elevated the rubbery "acid" timbres of the Roland TB-303 synthesizer to bold new heights; the track's overtly electronic, futuristic feel made it seem like a transmission from outer space. When the late DJ Ron Hardy debuted the track at his Chicago club, the Music Box, the crowd went wild, and dancers dubbed the mysterious tune "Ron Hardy's Acid Track." The name stuck. "It's a sound no one's heard before," Pierre recalled to The Independent in a 2012 interview. "It's not a piano sound, it's not a string sound, you don't know what it is, you just think that sound is Acid."